Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Today's mortgage rate news from Los Angeles broker

More news for our clients looking to buy or refinance in Los Angeles:
The real estate website Zillow today announced that average 30-year mortgage rates have reached a new all-time low. Zillow estimates mortgage rates in real time based on thousands of custom mortgage quotes. The quotes are submitted daily to anonymous borrowers through the company's website. This news shows a continuation of the trend seen for much of this year of mortgage rates continuing to drop to historic lows.
Zillow said their 30-year fixed mortgage rate edged down to 3.34% from 3.35% last week, which was previously the all-time low since Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace was launched in April of  2008.
The rate had most recently risen to 3.53% on Sunday, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi stated his institution would take aggressive action to restore the health of the region, boosting public confidence. Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said the rate is expected to remain in a set range for the long-term, until the euro zone's future becomes clearer.
Today, Zillow said the rate for a 15-year fixed home loan fell to 2.74%, down from 2.8% a week ago.The rate for a 5-1 adjustable-rate mortgage sank to 2.44%, from 2.52% the week before. A 5-1 ARM has an initial rate that applies for the first five years of the loan and then adjusts annually.

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Get a Great Mortgage...Approved. #10 of 10

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, Says Bill Rayman, Los Angeles Home Loan Broker

Another result of the closer scrutiny from Fannie, Freddie, the FHA and lenders themselves is that all your key financial qualifications are freshly re-examined before the lender issues docs for an approved loan.  They will pull a credit supplement to see if you’ve applied for any new debt.  They re-verify your employment to make sure you’re still working.  They do a nationwide search to see if you own any other property.  They get a transcript from the IRS to confirm that the taxes you supplied are in fact the same you filed.

It is far from unusual for loans to be thrown into limbo or rejected after this final check.  Before you apply for a loan, and particularly once you’ve begun the loan process, make sure to keep your financial ducks in a row.  Do not change jobs.  Do not make any major purchases or sign car leases, student loans or co-sign someone else’s loan.  Do not miss any payments.  And if you have an issue with a creditor, do not file  a dispute with the credit bureaus.

In Conclusion

None of these 10 recommendations for smoothing the process to obtain a loan should discourage you from applying.  Rates are unbelievably low and there are myriad programs available so that many people can qualify that may think otherwise.  Even though almost every loan has its share of problems, my firm has brought more than 95% of our applicants across the finish line.  We are experts at spotting and solving issues.  For more than 20 years, we’ve helped qualified buyers accomplish their dreams and goals.

For a free mortgage loan consultation with absolutely no obligation, call me, Bill Rayman, at 310-295-6213

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting Your Interest Rate Locked on Your Mortgage

A California Mortgage Consultant Like Bill Rayman Can Help You Make the Best Possible Decision Regarding the 9th Step in How to Get a Great Mortgage - Rate Locking

Some loans close in less than 30 days.  Others can drag on for 90 days – or more.  During the period between the formal application for the loan and the final closing, rates will invariably change.  Whether they will go up or down is a question each borrower must decide for himself.  This decision is probably the toughest one for any borrower.

The crux of the issue is this.  Because a bank takes a risk that rates will rise after you lock in a low rate, they will charge more – in fee or rate - for locks of longer duration than short ones.  You can choose to lock at any point from the application to the close.  If you believe rates will remain low during the loan process, you’re best off waiting to lock till the end.  If you believe they’ll rise, you benefit by locking early.

Unless and until you lock a rate, you will pay the prevailing market rate at the time of your close.  Some lenders allow a short term lock for free, so be sure to ask for it.  Few lenders will allow locks longer than 60 days, but with interest rates this low, it’s worth considering paying a small fee to secure a low rate early in the process.

Remember: locking is a two-way street.  It protects you from rates rising, and it protects lenders against rates falling.  There are practices lenders enact that prevent people from cancelling locks or renegotiating for lower rates.

For a much more in depth look at locking, check out my video on mortgage rate locking

just one more step to go, and you'll love it.  To make sure you don't forget to check it out, become a subscriber or put us on your RSS or atom feed.

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Bill Rayman Home Mortgage

12121 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 350
LA CA 90025



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Steps to get a California Mortgage Include Number Eight of Ten:  Paperwork Rules.

Because the details of a loan transaction matter so much, be prepared to provide proof of everything.   The vast majority of loans are sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  Their requirements for buying a loan (a Conforming loan means it conforms to Fannie’s and Freddie’s guidelines) are stringent, which puts pressure on the bank to make sure everything is exact and correct.   You will be asked for tax returns, pay stubs, rent receipts, banking information, business financial statements, employment verification, and proving many types of assets.

In a very real way, loans have become impersonal.  The days of a friendly banker giving you the benefit of doubt or bending a rule because you’re a good customer are no more.  In this climate, lenders fear that if they miss a detail, the loan could be unsalable, so they’re thinking down the road.  An issue that could be explained by a borrower personally will not be communicated as the loan moves into the secondary market.  Asking for documentation now assures lenders of recouping their investment later. 

You can cut down on the time required to close a loan by having these types of documents organized well in advance. 

If you have missed the first seven of these ten steps to getting a great and low cost mortgage, just click and scroll down.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ten Steps to How to Get a Great Mortgage Approved: Number 7 - Details Matter

Details Matter, says Los Angeles Mortgage Consultant Bill Rayman. This is the seventh of ten steps to getting a great mortgage approved.

Lenders granted loans during the go-go years between 1998 and 2007, often with little more documentation than the application.  Today, the pendulum has swung to the opposite side.  Everything is scrutinized.  To be certain that everything is accurate and true, every underwriter checks virtually every piece of information – work that is often double-checked by a 2nd underwriter. 

Examples of details they check include:
  • the source of any deposits made to a bank account
  • the reason behind each credit inquiry
  • other proof besides tax returns that a borrower is self-employed
  • every page of an asset statement even if it’s blank
When you use a mortgage broker to help you with your loan, you have someone who is your advocate.  Unlike a banker, it isn't my job to find reasons to turn you down, it is my job to find a way to get you a great mortgage, and get it closed.  Call 310-295-6213

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mortgage Pre-Approval Is Step 6 in How To Get A Mortgage Approved

 Bill Rayman Is A Mortgage Broker in West Los Angeles.  In this Series of Ten Steps to Get A Great Mortgage, Step Six Is to Get Pre-Approved.

Sellers increasingly demand to know up front whether a buyer can legitimately get the loan required to make a purchase, and they look to ta lender for authentication of which there are two types. 

One is a Pre-Qualification letter.  This type of letter provides an informal estimate of the loan you can handle.  The lender often sees no documents, just bases the amount on verbal information from the buyer. 

A Pre-Approval letter is more meaningful, and therefore more preferable.  To issue this, a lender generally requires a buyer’s taxes, assets, income proof and credit.  A Pre-Approval letter assures a seller that the buyer meets the guidelines to get the loan needed.

Being able to provide a Pre-Approval letter from a recognized lender or broker from a well-known company makes the seller know you are serious which can help you in a competitive bidding situation.  Cash offers speak the loudest, but a strong Pre-Approved buyer may be chosen over other would-be buyers even if their bids are higher.

If you would like to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan, call today and we will help you through the process.  Loan Rates are at record lows, but you will find that the banks and federal regulations are making it hard to get loans.  We are a bank and a mortgage broker, so we can provide you with the best chance of getting a great loan.

If you have not seen the first five parts of the series, just go to http://www.blog.MortgageHelpLosAngeles.com and scroll down to see all the previous parts.  

You might also find some great direction with regard to more minor details by checking out the forty plus videos on our video channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/BillRaymanMortgages

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Refinance Applications Soar in Latest Week According to LA Mortgage Broker

Refinance Your Los Angeles Mortgage Now at Historic Record Lows.  

According to mortgage refinance information released by the MBA:

“Refinance application volume increased last week to near peak levels for the year as mortgage rates dropped to a new low, driven down by growing concerns about the health of the US economy,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Applications for HARP refinance loans accounted for 24 percent of refinance activity last week, in line with the HARP share for the past few weeks.”

Where do you think mortgage rates are headed.  They were at record lows this week.  If you'd like to keep track on a daily basis, you can find the current average rate at http://www.MortgageHelpLosAngeles.com

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How to Get A Mortgage Tip 5 - Selecting a Broker and Banker

5.   How to Shop for the Lender.

Since the market collapse in 2008, many mortgage lenders have been far from eager to write new mortgages.  Also in reaction to the calamity, new restrictions imposed by the government and rules promulgated by banking regulators have made lending standards much more strict.  The result is that you will need to shop harder than ever to get a bank to agree to loan you money on reasonable terms.

Because I only make money by completing transactions, I have a huge incentive to close loans successfully for my clients.  Most helpfully, my firm is a mortgage bank, and more than 80% of the loans I originate are done in-house.  And as a mortgage broker, I have access to many other banks and lenders including those who specialize in jumbo, construction,  commercial, stated income and hard money loans.  In this way I shop for you to find the best possible resources.

When shopping, we look at every aspect of the cost of the loan: the type of loan, interest rate, discount fees, processing costs, and mortgage insurance (as mentioned in #4).  As a direct lender we don’t charge points or application fees, nor charge for many items people consider “nickel and-diming” such as credit reports and tax service.

To learn more about Bill Rayman, see his life story @ http://www.mortgagehelplosangeles.com/Bill.html

Friday, July 20, 2012

How to Get A Mortgage #4 - What Is The Right Type of Loan?


California Mortgage Banker Bill Rayman Discusses Mortgage Loan Types and How to Choose What Is the Best Home Loan for You

Example of different mortgage rates on July 20, 2012
Fixed rate mortgages provide the security of knowing your interest rate and payments will never rise.  With rates currently at record lows, most people are deciding that a fixed rate loan is their best option.

Fixed rate mortgages can provide different terms options.  A 15-year fixed term offers a lower interest rate than a 30-year term; however, the longer term will help keep monthly payments lower.  If your budget can handle it, the shorter term and lower rate will save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.  For example, a $300,000 mortgage at 3.500% for 30 years and monthly payment of $1,347 will cost you $185,000 in interest.  A 15-year term at 3.000% may have a higher payment of $2,071 but total interest for the loan is only $73,000 – a savings of $112,000 in just the first 15 years, roughly $7,500 per year.
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs)
provide the lowest starting rates which can be fixed for the first five seven of 10 years.  Historically, ARMs offer the least expensive approach over the term of the loan and are an excellent choice if you expect to move within a few years.  Because the rates will change after the fixed period, they are not the right choice if you are not confident of being able to handle larger payments in future years.
 FHA Home Loans and Private Premium Mortgage Insurance (PMI).  For purchases, lenders typically want 20% down payment; any amount less and they can require you to pay additional monthly fees for mortgage insurance (MI) which insures the lender against default.  Whether you don’t have the 20% or choose to use a smaller down payment, MI is a viable, often unappreciated, path.  There are two types of insured loans.  One is from the FHA which lets you move into a home with as little as 3.5% down.  The cost for putting so little of your own money down is an upfront fee to the FHA of 1.75% of the loan amount (you don’t need cash; they will add it to the loan) as well as a monthly fee of 1.25% of the loan for at least 5 years.
Please view our video on FHA Loans for a more in-depth discussion.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU_PU59RFKA

The other type of insured mortgage is a conventional loan with Private mortgage insurance(PMI).   These require at least 5% down, but there is no upfront fee and typically less than 1.00% per month depending on the borrower’s credit score and down payment percentage.  Another advantage of PMI: it can be cancelled after 2 years when there is 20% equity in the home from any combination of paying down the loan and the home appreciating in value.  Typically insurers require higher FICO scores than the FHA allows.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Top 10 Tips on How to Get A Great Mortgage...Approved - Advanced Planning

3.  Los Angeles Mortgage Broker Bill Rayman Discusses How to Set Up a Mortgage Plan

This is the third in our series on how to maximize your chances of getting a great mortgage for your new home or a refinance.  The home loan market is very tight right now, so if you are wanting to get a mortgage, there are some wise steps you can take to improve your prospects.  

In number 1 and 2, we discussed the critical importance of proving your income and how your credit score can impact your ability to get a mortgage at all and/or the rates a terms that you will be offered.
Bill Rayman - Mortgage Banker and Broker

3.      Set Up A Plan

Start your planning process by creating a realistic budget to determine how much of a monthly payment you can handle.  There are many excellent free budgeting formats on-line.  If you are considering purchasing your first home, keep in mind that there are many expenses associated with home ownership that you don’t now have with a rental.  Among other items, you need to include in your plan: utilities cost more; repairs and maintenance expenses; furnishings, flooring, and window treatments in and of themselves are huge expenses; gardening and lawn care; appliance purchases; property taxes; and, property insurance.

One of the benefits of home ownership is the tax deductibility of many of its costs.  The interest on your mortgage, property taxes, potentially your mortgage insurance, some part of any HOA dues, and some home expenses can reduce your taxable income.  Besides reaping the savings, this will improve your monthly cash flow. Even though you don’t get the tax relief until you file with the IRS, you can plan to take advantage during the year by adjusting the withholding on your wages or on your estimated tax payments.  Consult with your tax preparer to determine the best way to achieve those savings.

If you need someone to help you with all the steps outlined in this series, or just want to select a mortgage broker who cares enough to make sure your needs are met at every level, give me a call at 310-295-6213 for a no cost, no obligation evaluation of your plan.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Step 2 in Ten Steps to Getting a Great Mortgage…Approved!

California Mortgage Broker and Mortgage Banker, Bill Rayman, provides ten specific step you can take to get the best possible mortgage rates in California

In our first post of this series, we discussed the impact of your income on getting a mortgage loan approved, and the documentation that is now required.  

2.   Credit Score Improvement

Your credit score can keep you from getting a mortgage and will dramatically impact the rate and other terms of any mortgage you get.  There are many on-line resources for checking a credit score and you can get a free report once every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.  Something to know: not all credit scores are the same.  Lenders use a financial score which can differ significantly from a consumer score (your on-line report) and from scores that other industries utilize.  You may want to call me at 310-295-6213 and I will get you a financial credit score that mortgage lenders rely on.

A credit score under 620 will very likely disqualify you from any standard mortgage.  A credit score above 740 will generally qualify you for the best programs, rates and terms.  In between these two results a great broker can help you to get the best possible deal.  Your credit score can save $1000’s in interest charges over the years.  A single percentage point difference in a $400,000 loan can cost over $87,000 over the life of the loan.

Once you have your credit report, check to see if there are any errors.  Report these to all reporting agencies or directly with the company that issued the incorrect information.  It can 90 days to resolve such issues.

Tip: Don’t close unused credit cards.  Use them.  Credit scores measure financial responsibility.  By borrowing and promptly paying the bill you boost your scores.  But don’t open new cards!  

If these efforts are not enough or if you have substantial problems on your credit reports, you may want to use a professional to help you improve your score.  Many companies who offer these services are more talk than action.  Call me for the name of a trusted credit repair company.  310-295-6213

Ten Steps to Get a Great Mortgage…Approved!

Los Angeles, CA Mortgage Banker and Mortgage Broker Bill Rayman offers tips to get your mortgage approved.

With mortgage rates at historic lows and likely to stay that way for the next few months, you may be thinking that this would be a good time to buy a new home, a vacation home, a residential investment property, or to refinance existing mortgages you hold.  One thing can be said for certain: there has never been a better time to get a mortgage.  That is, if you can get one!  The news is full of reasons why you can’t.

Your frustration at being approved by a lender is shared among professionals in every part of the real estate industry.  Low prices on properties coupled with unbelievably low rates on loans should mean a robust market.  But by some analyses more than 50% of all loan applications are turned down. 

Here is the first of 10 practical steps you can take to optimize your chances for being approved.  Subscribe to this blog to receive automatic updates. 

1.      Income Clarity
Unlike the heady days of the 2000’s, today you will need to prove your income.  If you are employed, make sure that your employer is showing all income.  If you are receiving any income in the form of cash, gifts, barter or another form that do not show on your W-2, it would be far better to change it and place everything on the payroll.

If you own your own company, you may have some of the same issues as a wage earner.  If you are self-employed or a are a substantial owner of your company, you will need at least two years of history as well as current profit and loss statements.  As with the payroll issue, you will qualify for a better, higher mortgage if you choose to show excellent profits rather than using every possible way to reduce income to reduce your tax bill.   If you believe that your W-2 or business income can be improved with some changes in your methods, you may want to hold off on the mortgage for a few months until these changes are effective and clear.

There are other ways to boost income without altering your actual receipts or taxes.  For example, you might also be able to impute income from assets even though they do not provide actual income.  We can help you assess the potential to show such income on your application.

Call Bill Raymond for a free consultation.  310-295-6213

Friday, July 13, 2012

San Bernadino considering radical eminent domain plan

(Katie Falkenberg / For The TImes / June 20, 2012)
More news for those looking to refinance in the greater Los Angeles area...
San Bernadino County officials are considering drastic measures to try to recover their community's housing, and turn a profit doing it. In San Bernadino County, almost half of all homeowners owe more on their houses than the houses are worth. The County is responding by taking the unprecedented move of using eminent domain law to purchase houses at their current value and then sell them back to their residents in a lower, government-backed mortgage. 
Only home-owners who have remained current on their payments would be eligible for the new loans, and only homes that are worth at least 15% less than the amount that is still owed.
Notably, the new loans would be larger than the price paid for the homes by the government, backed by investor Mortgage Resolution Partnerships, allowing the government and Mortgage Resolution Partnerships to make a profit off the project.
Some lenders who are critical of the plan have said lenders will stop extending loans to applicants in areas that take the eminent domain approach.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Record low mortgage rates

It is a great time to buy or refinance in Los Angeles and other parts of the US, with reports of record-breaking low interest rates.
30-year fixed rate mortgages have broken or matched a record low in 10 of the last 11 weeks. This week continued the trend, with Freddie Mac reporting last Thursday that the 30-year loan is averaging 3.62%, a drop from the previous record low of 3.66% that was set in the past two weeks. 
The 15-year fixed rate mortgage average was also down to 2.89%, from the record 2.94% low the week before. The starting interest rates for adjustable-rate mortgages also were at or near record lows this week, Freddie Mac reported.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Proposed "Plain Language" Mortgage Documents

More recent news that may affect mortgage rates here in Los Angeles and elsewhere: 
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released their recommendations today for new simplified disclosure forms for US mortgage lenders. The new proposed guidelines are intended to require lenders to offer the rates and terms of a loan in "plain language" to borrowers
The forms would also change the way annual percentage rates are calculated, to include fees that are currently excluded from the APR such as title searches, credit reports, and appraisals. The documents clearly outline loan costs and how they may potentially change over time.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is currently accepting public comment on their proposal.
If you need help understanding these and other complicated mortgage details, contact us, Los Angeles mortgage broker, and we will help you find the best deal.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Help for divorce buyout mortgage process in Los Angeles

No one wants to deal with a divorce buyout mortgage, and yet, if you find yourself on the brink of separation or divorce, you are wise to explore your options as far as what to do with your home. For some couples, it makes the most sense to transfer the responsibility of the mortgage to one individual who will retain ownership. This is what is known as a divorce buyout mortgage. If you are looking into the option of a divorce buyout mortgage and you live in the greater Los Angeles area, we can help you understand what to expect from this process so you can make a sound, well-informed decision.